Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Peanuts and Crackerjacks
Yes. And here it is, America's dwindling pastime (whatever that is). I love me some of that baseball.
If I've learned anything in life (and that's always under debate), it's that you root for your neighborhood team, wherever your travels take you. But you never forget them what raised you. Willie "Pops" Stargell was my favorite baseball player growing up. I wanted to be him, through my Pee Wee and Little League years, waiting with impatience for the several nights during the summer when my father would load up the car with me and my friends and haul us up the road to Three Rivers Stadium for an evening with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Then I discovered history, Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski, Honus Wagner and Ralph Kiner. For reasons stretching far beyond steroids, I will never forgive Barry Bonds. But I forgave Dave Parker in a heartbeat. Loyalty is a funny thing.
The Pittsburgh Pirates played the Chicago Cubs this past weekend. And, as happens several times each season, I had my loyalties tested and questioned. It's really not a contest. I live 8 blocks from Wrigley Field, one of the grandest dilapidated structures in these here United States. The Cubs are off to a hot(ish) start (with the inevitable mid to late season breakdown forthcoming), and feature stud superstars on the corners. Home games are sold out long before the season starts. America loves the Cubbies. I do too. The Pirates are woeful, enduring 13 straight losing seasons (each one a "rebuilding" year), and this year looks to be more of the same. Outside of Jason Bay, the casual fan probably couldn't name a single player on the roster. The Pirates have one of the nicest new ballparks in the majors, and most nights it's only 1/3 full (or 2/3 empty for us pessimists). Like I said, it's no contest. When the Cubs and Pirates play, I'm rooting for the Pirates.
What's this got to do with music? Who knows? We like some them there modern bands quite a bit, contrary to the sour grapes about the current state of music that often emits from this here spot. But they get plenty of coverage elsewhere, and feature prominently in lots of folks' "fantasy" teams. So here at the Mountain we're gonna continue to root for the Hanks and Leftys and Merles. Dancin' with them what brung ya.
Enjoy some baseball songs.
The Treniers:Say Hey (The Willie Mays Song)(mp3)
Les Brown Orchestra: Joltin' Joe Dimaggio (mp3)
Mabel Scott: Baseball Boogie (mp3)
Sister Wynona Carr: The Ball Game (mp3)
John Fogerty: Centerfield (mp3)
Bandwidth should hold up, but I've got contingency plans, so download away. Buy your sports paraphenalia from your local independent bootlegg....errr...street vendor.